Pelargonium or balcony geranium - plant, care - Our website

Pelargonium, false geranium, balconies!

Pelargonium is a plant still sometimes called, balcony geranium. Native to southern Africa, pelargonium is a perennial plant but freezes in our latitudes, therefore cultivated as an annual. Where pelargonium comes from, its evergreen foliage and the plant is grown as a perennial. Here pelargonium requires more maintenance and in particular to be sheltered from frost in winter.

Pelargonium offers a very rapid growth, like a very long flowering, from spring until the first frosts. You find them in a wide range of colors in your favorite garden center and it may be advisable to grow it in planters and easy on balconies the pelargonium appreciates the rays of the sun!

Botanical name:

pelargonium spp.

Type of plant

• Cycle: Perennial
• Foliage: Lapsed
• Hardiness: Frost plant
• Family: Geraniaceae geraniaceae
• Harbor : Tufts
• Exhibition: Sun and partial shade
• Ground : Rich and draining
• Sowing:
• Plantation: Spring
• Multiplication: Cutting
• Flowering: May to October
• Rooting: Roots
• Culture Zone: 10 (see hardiness maps France and Quebec)
• Origin: Southern Africa
• Honey plant: -
• Toxicity: -


• Cold resistance: No, frost plant
Flowering : Abundant, and fast growing
Interview : Coming back in the winter
Not to be confused with the perennial geranium

Description of pelargonium:

The pelargonium offers a habit erected in a tuft, its flowers are small, united in fairly large umbels, they do not measure more than one to 2 cm in diameter and truncate above its wide, round leaves of a beautiful green, which form a darker halo that make it its "trademark". Pelargonium is widely cultivated in planters because of its lack of hardiness, it is often seen in summer adorning balconies and also in flower beds.

What exhibition:

• Sun

What soil?

• Rich and drained

Method of multiplication?

Cuttings give good results.

When to plant pelargonium?

• In spring, from the end of March depending on the region, watch out for the cold snap

Gardener's info:

• After planting, water the pelargonium base regularly.
• Throughout the year, remove withered flowers and damaged leaves.

How to plant pelargonium?

In the ground:

Prepare the soil:
• Dig to the depth of a spade and 35 cm wide
• Place some pebbles or gravel at the bottom to improve soil drainage.
• Add a mixture of mature compost and garden soil.

Prepare the pelargonium plant:
• Remove it from the pot, break up the root ball and scratch the soil to free the roots.
• Dip it in a bucket of water.

Put it or the plants in place
• The pelargonium must have room to unfold, leave space between 2 plants of 30 cm.
• Fill in the spaces with the compost and soil mixture.
• Tamp down well with the foot or back of a rake.
• Do not bury the snare.

In pot (40 to 50 cm in diameter):

• At the bottom of the pot, plank a gravel lees.
• Prepare a mixture of compost and garden soil or leaf soil 50%.
• Scratch the pelargonium clod.
• Place the plants (2 or 3) well in the center
• Tamp, water.


• From May to September-October

Maintenance of Geranium for balconies:

• Very little maintenance: remove faded flowers that unnecessarily "pump" energy. • Sometimes the leaves turn yellow: Also delete them.
• Watering: especially in summer, regular watering

Pelargonium requires fairly regular watering, but never too much water. A little lack of water is even generally favorable and energizes flowering. When the flowers have wilted, remove them day by day as well as the old leaves which turn yellow.
At the end of autumn, place the pelargoniums in pots and / or planters away from the cold, as soon as the temperatures drop below 4 ° C. Ditto for plants grown in the ground, pull them up and bring them in for the winter after placing them in a pot for the winter. A winter cover, in regions where the cold is not very intense, can be placed to protect them in place.

Some varieties

Pelargonium "from the florists"

A classic among the classics, the florists' pelargonium (P. x domesticum) is by far the one that offers the largest flowers of its kind. It will flower especially as it receives regular Fertilization, about twice a month. Be careful, this is a variety that can suffer from too much heat and limit its flowering.

Pel. "Scarlet Pimpernel"

This zonal pelargonium offers beautiful marbled foliage and raspberry-pink lined flowers. It requires little watering when installed in the ground and withstands semi-shaded exposures.

Pel. »Mosquitaway Lizzy«

This pelargonium is one of the varieties that develop scents that repel flies and mosquitoes, it benefits from a solo plantation where it is showcased without competition ...

Pel. balcony king:

The other classic of pelargoniums. It offers simple flowers and ivy foliage with pink undertones.

Pel. "Paton’s Unique":

A vigorous plant with fragrant foliage, "Paton's Unique" is a very floriferous pelargonium. Note that the higher the temperatures, the more this pelargonium flowers.

Pelargonium goes well in the garden with

• Roses, grasses, asters, achileae

With or without a garden ...

In the garden : in massif, in rockery, on the edge ...
Without garden: In pots on the terrace or on the balconies

Top image by - Public domain -

See also geranium:

Quick sheet:


Item name

Pelargonium, the false geranium for balconies


Pelargonium is a plant still sometimes called, balcony geranium, which confuses true geraniums. Native to southern Africa, pelargonium is a perennial plant but freezes in our latitudes, therefore cultivated as an annual. This pelargonium in Africa retains its evergreen foliage and the plant can be grown as a perennial. Here, in our latitudes, pelargonium requires more maintenance and in particular to be sheltered from frost in winter.


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The pelargoniums-ivies especially suitable for decorating planters, basins and suspensions.
The zonal pelargoniums, very easy to grow in jars, they, too, are useful for forming beautiful patches of color in flower beds.
Install pelargoniums with fragrant foliage in pots on the terrace, on the balcony or at the edge of the aisle to enjoy their scent.

Geraniums appreciate a drained substrate. Also, let the soil dry out between two waterings. The substrate is then cool but without stagnant moisture.

When to bring in the geranium for the winter?

Geranium is a plant that fears frost. Also, it must be brought in before the first frosts which can be fatal. The date varies depending on the region but generally occurs in October for the first frosts and mid-May for the last.

How to winter geraniums?

Choose a sheltered but ventilated location, between 8 ° C and 15 ° C and bright. Stop watering in winter, resume slowly in February-March. Plants in the ground can be overwintered in a planter, before being replanted once the risk of frost has been eliminated.

How to prune geraniums for the winter?

Before wintering the geranium, remember to cut all the faded flowers, then fold back the whole plant to about fifteen centimeters.

Perennial geranium: advice on planting and caring for it

Very different from the "balcony" geraniums which fear frost, which we should call pelargoniums, Perennial geraniums are from species growing naturally in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, are very hardy.

Due to their very diverse origins, from plains meadows to mountain scree through light undergrowth, there are perennial geraniums for all garden situations. The best known are those with blue flowers, such as Johnson's Blue. This variety grows in a tuft up to about 40cm tall, with very indented medium green leaves, usually taking on beautiful colors in fall, and large blue flowers with lavender reflections. They appear from May to July, then again in September after summer pruning. All the vegetation disappears in winter to regrow the following spring.

Pink-flowering geraniums sanguineum are also very popular. Geranium sanguineum Elke is the easiest to grow. This plant grows in a compact and spreading tuft, reaching 20-30cm in height, and gradually spreads thanks to its underground stems. The dense, dark green foliage serves as a setting for the countless carmine-pink flowers that bloom between May and September. During the winter, a few leaves usually persist at the base of the plants.

Even if they are easy to grow, perennial geraniums can in no way replace pelargoniums in pots and planters.

Geranium: varieties, planting and care

King of the balcony and the garden, the geranium is timeless as it is generous in flowers, colors and varieties. Among the geraniums grown as annual plants, from the species Pelargonium, and perennial geraniums which are hardy in the garden, this family offers many possibilities.


Presentation of geranium

Geraniums are divided into two very distinct families that are used in different ways in the garden: balcony geraniums or seasonal beds, and the perennial geraniums.

The first are from the genre Pelargonium. Coming from South Africa, they cannot stand our winters and are therefore grown as annual plants, even if in mild regions they can also last for several years by being protected or returned to frost. Pelargoniums present various species, but above all hundreds of varieties that have been hybridized for decades to meet the enthusiasm of gardeners. They are indeed very appreciated for their bright colors and their very generous flowering which lasts from May until October without weakening. Their flowers form clusters or are gathered in a ball at the top of the stems. Bright colors, they range from white to red or light lilac through all shades of pink and fuchsia. This type of geranium is used in sunny annual beds, and garnishes pots and planters, which it adorns with a profusion of flowers all summer long.

The second are from the genre Geranium. They are perennial and hardy in our climates, therefore constitute bedding plants. Mostly deciduous, these geraniums disappear in winter, but regrow in stumps each spring and gain in size over the years. Some varieties are persistent and keep their foliage even in winter like Geranium macrorrhizum. Their colors are less vivid than in pelargoniums, and their flowering periods are generally shorter. They are spring or summer. The flowers are solitary on the stems. Their colors range from white to dark pink and many species show blue or purplish tints. These perennial geraniums are rather used in beds, borders, as an accompaniment to roses with which they go very well. They can form large flower beds, cover embankments and undergrowth for shade species. Dwarf species also adorn the interstices of pavements and cobbled alleys.

Species and varieties of geranium

From Geraniums (Pelargonium) grown as annual plants, three main species are available:

- Zonal geranium, (Pelargonium hortorum) called bedding geraniums, produces flowers united in a ball above the foliage. Its habit is upright and its foliage zoned, that is, it has a darker transverse band in the center. About 30 to 50 cm high, it flowers from June to October, remaining fairly uniform.

- Ivy geranium (Pelargonium hederaefolium) is almost exclusively used in pots, planters and suspensions, because its habit is very flexible and drooping thanks to long and flexible stems. Its small, thick leaves are palmate in shape, on a tuft of 20 to 40 cm high. Its flowers, blooming from May to frost, are simple and gathered in clusters.

- Florists' geranium (Pelargonium regale, syn. Pelargonium domesticum) offers larger flowers in opulent bouquets and dentate, very dense and downy foliage. The flowers are two-tone with a light shade and a dark macula, from April to September. The habit is erect and vigorous 40 to 60 cm high.

These species used for planters and pots have the potential to keep from year to year, but their growth is often very disrupted by the winter period and find it difficult to produce beautiful plants again the following year.

The fragrant geraniums (Pelargonium capitatum, P. graveolens) have foliage that smells, depending on the variety, of lemon, mint, pineapple, licorice, apple, rose ... They are the most cautious, but they can live continuously in the veranda or be returned in winter in a heated room remaining fairly cool (12 to 15 ° C) and in this case will persist throughout the year. They bloom from May to September and rise to about two feet tall.

Perennial geraniums are rustic in the garden and in pots, troughs, well-drained rockeries. Among these perennial geraniums, many species have been identified, with different growing conditions (sun, partial shade, shade, in the dry or in a cool environment) and the flowering periods range between April and September. There are dwarf geraniums 10 cm high forming short or fluffy carpets and others 30 to 60 cm high spreading out in larger and larger tufts.

Sowing and planting geranium

The annual geranium crashes in spring when the frosts are over. It requires a well-drained, fairly rich soil or a good quality potting soil (potting soil for flowering plants). It is placed in sunny exposure.

The perennial geranium can be planted in spring or in early fall. It will need well-drained soil, but depending on the species it can resist drought or prefer soils that stay cool.

Jardiland - Geranium soil 20 L

Growing and caring for geranium

Growing geraniums, whether annual or perennial, is very simple. They only ask for one regular watering, especially for those grown in pots, suspensions and planters. For the latter, an addition of fertilizer every month during the season helps to keep the flowering opulent. For perennial geraniums, a contribution of compost at the foot in autumn is sufficient. These can be divided every two or three years.

Annual geraniums (pelargoniums) can be found in winter, in frost-free verandas or in the garage. They will remain dormant and some of them will resume in the spring, after being watered and pruned.

The fragrant pelargoniums which have returned to the veranda and which are continued to be watered retain their foliage. The frequency of watering should be reduced, but avoid letting the root ball dry out.

Perennial geraniums are hardy, we can cover the stumps with a mulch of dry leaves which will decompose over the months, enriching the soil and protecting it from frost.

Geranium diseases and what to do?

Rust and gray rot: they deteriorate the leaves which must be burned. Then treat the plant as a whole with Bordeaux mixture.

The pests of geranium are red spiders, snails and white flies. They usually attack during the hottest periods. Black slugs love young shoots and attack them preferably in the fall.

  • To eliminate white flies: water the foliage.
  • Snails and slugs: set up beer traps.
  • Red spiders: they will be treated with an acaricide.

Geranium: flowering, pruning and maintenance

Geranium is the star plant of our balconies. Find out everything you need to know about its planting, flowering, size ...

Geraniums are popular. This flower with five petals sublimates gardens, balconies and terraces. Belonging to the Geraniaceae family, geranium is native to South Africa and usually blooms in the summer, from April to October. There are more than 200 species of geraniums, of different colors. It is a very easy perennial to grow in the garden, nevertheless it should be well looked after. Indeed, its planting and repotting, its maintenance and especially its size, will allow you to improve the flowering of your geraniums.

Video: Lets PROPAGATE, repot and take care of beautiful GERANIUM IVYS. Pelargonium Peltatum

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